Pam Nail, Douglas County School System associate superintendent for student achievement and leadership, said while the district scores improved in all tests and all schools continued to perform well in ninth-grade literature and American literature, the school system will continue to focus this year on the best practices in classroom instruction and student assessment.
“We believe a focus on the best practices of instruction will lead to continued improvement,” she said.
According to Meghan Frick with the Georgia Department of Education, the number of Douglas ninth-grade students meeting or exceeding state standards in ninth-grade literature was 89.5 percent, higher than the state average of 87.7.
Also, 83.6 percent of Douglas students met or exceeded the standard in economics, compared to 81.2 statewide.
However, it was in science- and math-related subjects that Douglas County students fell short of state standards.
Only 22.8 percent met or exceeded in analytic geometry, Frick said. The state average was 34.6.
Only 31.8 percent of Douglas students met or exceeded the state standard in coordinate algebra, in which the state average was 40.3.
A total of 67.3 percent met or exceeded the standard in biology in Douglas County, compared to 75.0 statewide.
Also, 79.0 percent met or exceeded in physical science in Douglas, compared to 84.6 statewide.
At individual schools, Alexander led the pack in ninth-grade literature with 94.5 percent of its freshmen meeting or exceeding standards, followed closely by Chapel Hill at 93.3 percent and Douglas County at 89.6 percent.
From there, New Manchester had an average of 86.6 percent to meet or exceed standards while Lithia Springs had 83.5 percent.
In American literature this year, Chapel Hill had 94.8 percent of its test takers meet or exceed standards.
In coordinate algebra, the school having the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards was Chapel Hill at 35.7 percent followed by Alexander at 32 percent, Lithia Springs at 23.6 percent, Douglas County at 21.4 percent and New Manchester at 15.8 percent.
The school with the most students to meet or exceed state standards in analytic geometry was Douglas County with 25.4 percent, followed by New Manchester at 23.5 percent, Alexander with 22.8, Chapel Hill with 22.2 percent and Lithia Springs with 17.3.
However, end of course tests are now a thing of the past. The state assessment system is changing this school year, Nail said.
“In 2015, all students in grades three through 12 will take what is called the Georgia Milestones,” Nail said.
The Georgia Milestone tests for grades three through eight will be called End of Grade while those for grades nine through 12 will be called End of Course.
“The intent of the new system is to have tests that are better aligned with the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards in English/language arts and math,” Nail said.
More, however, will be required of students to prepare them better for college and career and provide a more realistic picture of academic progress, she said.
The Milestones testing system is one consistent program rather than a series of individual tests, Nail said.
The program will no longer require writing assessments in grades three, five and eight.